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MAURISCHE, Marie Theresa

b.1842 – d.1908

Marie Theresa Maurische is a patient who left only a faint trace behind, here is what I was able to ascertain.

The Lunacy Patients Register records her admission to Wandsworth Asylum, or more formally Surrey County Lunatic Asylum, in September 1880 when she would have been 38.

Admitted Wandsworth 18 Sep 1880, Discharged ‘Not Improved’ 07 Mar 1890

There is a possible entry for Marie in the 1881 census for the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum of a female patient with the initials MTM, married, age 39. No birthplace is given.

Marie was discharged from Wandsworth Asylum on 7th March 1890 and the Register shows that she was admitted to Colney Hatch Asylum at Friern Barnet on the same date.

Admitted Colney Hatch -07 Mar 1890, Discharged Rel’d 23 Apr 1903

No entry has been found in the 1891 census return for Colney Hatch Asylum that could be Marie. There is however there a possible entry for her in the 1901 census of a female patient with the initials MM, single, age 59, birthplace London.

The Register shows that Marie was discharged from Colney Hatch on the 23rd April 1903 with the reason given as ‘Reld’ [Relieved] which means that she was deemed to have been on the road to recovery. The Register for 1903 is missing so it is not possible to see which asylum she was relieved to.

The next time that she appears in the Register is when she was admitted to Long Grove Asylum on the 24th September 1907.

Admitted Long Grove, 24 Sep 1907 – Died 19 Feb 1908

Marie died on the 19th February 1908 in Long Grove Asylum and was buried in Horton Cemetery on the 25th February in grave ref #87b. Her death certificate records that she was the wife of Maurische ‘occupation unknown’ and that she was ‘of Rotherhithe Infirmary’. The cause of her death, confirmed by post mortem, was ‘Pulmonary Tuberculosis’. Her age was given as 66 making her estimated birth year 1842. Tuberculosis was endemic in pauper asylums in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Register records her death at Long Grove on the 19th February 1908 which is confirmed by her death certificate.

These are the only records of Marie’s life that have been located to date. Despite having a distinctive surname – Maurische, which in German means Moorish as in the North African influence found in southern Spain – no marriage or birth certificate is to be found nor any record of an admission to the Rotherhithe Infirmary. Only one other person has been found with the same surname: a John Maurische who was charged with pig stealing in New South Wales in 1880.

Long Grove Asylum, which opened in 1907, was the fourth asylum in the London County Council’s ‘Epsom Cluster’, and followed the specialist asylum architect G. T. Hine’s echelon layout, being built to almost the same plan as the Horton Asylum. When Marie arrived, she would have been one of its earliest residents.

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